BRIDGEPORT, CT - Scott Eansor scored twice and Travis St. Denis added his first tally of the season on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-4-0-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 6-3 loss against the Laval Rocket (4-1-1-0) in their home opener in front of 5,099 fans at Webster Bank Arena.
Eansor now has six goals in five games and has found the back of the net in four of the Sound Tigers five contests this season. Between the pipes, Christopher Gibson made 30 saves on 36 shots.
Laval’s Tom Parisi got things going early for the visitors when he netted one of his two goals on the night just 1:55 into the first period. Parisi collected a drop pass in the slot from Kyle Baun and hammered home a one-time slap shot for his second goal of the year. Daniel Audette followed less than five minutes later when he capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity to make it 2-0. Audette and Nikita Scherbak played catch across the goalmouth before Audette slammed home a shot from the left post past Gibson’s blocker at 6:19.
Eansor cut the deficit to one at 8:06 of the opening frame when he stormed to the front of the net during a rush in transition and redirected Tanner Fritz’s centering feed from the right half boards, which snuck past goaltender Zach Fucale’s right leg. However, Baun and the Rocket bounced back to take a 3-1 advantage when the third-year forward funneled home a snap shot from the slot, finishing a centering pass from Audette on the right wing.
The Sound Tigers evened the score with back-to-back goals in the middle frame courtesy of Eansor and St. Denis. The latter made it 3-2 just 2:05 into the frame with a power-play tally that came on a redirection in front following a feed from Casey Bailey. Just over three minutes later, Eansor cleaned up a sequence of rebounds in front for his second goal of the night at 5:47. Steve Bernier and Fritz earned the helpers.
Laval closed out the game with three unanswered goals to seal its fourth win of the season in six games. Daniel Carr secured the game-winning goal at 7:23 of the second period with an even-strength tally from Nick Deslauriers and Byron Froese. Froese followed with his own goal at 13:16, making Eansor pay for a hooking minor shortly before. From the left circle, Froese set up and unloaded a slap shot that beat Gibson’s glove for a 5-3 score.
Parisi notched his second of the night for the 6-3 final at 11:04 of the third period. Froese created a chance in front with a wrist shot at Gibson, but the rebound fell to Parisi who forced it in for his third goal of the season. Froese was also credited with his second assist and third point of the night.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-6 on the power play and 7-for-9 on the penalty kill. Laval outshot Bridgeport 36-30, while Fucale made 27 saves in Laval’s win.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow afternoon with a 3 p.m. matinee contest against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The first 2,000 fans in attendance receive a Sound Tigers magnet schedule courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live , beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Hottest Tickets in Town: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and exciting promotional lineups in team history this season. This year's calendar will feature the return of Star Wars Night (Dec. 2), meet-and-greets with the Justice League (Nov. 11) and Marvel (Jan. 27) superheroes, and all-new promotions like a camouflage baseball cap (Jan. 13) and a kid's lunch box giveaway (Feb. 11). Click here to tickets.
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